Prosecutor requests investigation into pro-independence MP for alleged irregular contracts

Laura Borràs accused of fraudulently selecting supplier for services worth €260,000

Laura Borràs at a press conference at the Catalan parliament on November 25, 2019 (by Bernat Vilaró)
Laura Borràs at a press conference at the Catalan parliament on November 25, 2019 (by Bernat Vilaró) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 3, 2019 01:32 PM

Spain's prosecutor has requested the opening of an investigation into senior pro-independence MP Laura Borràs for allegedly awarding irregular contracts when she presided over the Institute of Catalan Letters (ILC), judicial sources have confirmed.

As an official elected to the Spanish congress, Junts per Catalunya's Borràs has a certain level of immunity and can therefore only be investigated by the Supreme Court. A Barcelona court sent the case to Spain's top judges, who asked the prosecutor last week whether to proceed with an investigation or not.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor replied by siding in favor of investigating her for a breach of official duty, misuse of funds, administrative fraud, and false accounting.

According to the prosecution, there are signs that Borràs could have fraudulently allocated public contracts to the same supplier and avoided a public tender by splitting the service into various ones not surpassing the minimum threshold over which tenders are obligatory.

The prosecutor mentions emails and phone conversations in which Borràs allegedly instructed the person who eventually got the contracts to split the amounts and to present alternative quotes under other names.

Borràs denied all claims

Borràs already denied all claims when the case was first released.

The case relates to the alleged irregular recruitment for the reformation and creation of official web pages and not offering public competitions for the tenders during the time Borràs was head of the ILC between 2013 and 2018.

The Institute of Catalan Letters is a public body in charge of promoting Catalan literature and writers, particularly those writing in the Catalan language.

Last December, the then Minister of Culture rejected any type of irregularity in the awarding of contracts. Borràs considered the information "completely misguided" and regretted being a victim of a "public lynching."

In addition, she argued that the adjudications that did not require a public tender (then, those less than 18,000 euros), including three contracts awarded to a former partner at university, Isaías HF, had been done according to the law.